One of the biggest surprises for me at PAX Prime was Bethesda's Hunted: The Demon's Forge. The game caught my eye only very recently, sparking an interest thanks to its modern fantasy aesthetic and elven boobs. Gameplay wise it's been billed as a cross between World of Warcraft and Gears of War, and if that's not intriguing, I don't know what is.
Seeing an elf snap into cover is kind of absurd, yet it strangely works. Players can take on the role of the sword-swinging Caddoc or bow-toting E'lara, and while both characters are fun, the elf is the clear winner. Using a cover system, aiming from over the shoulder, and taking on armies of skeletons, the game has a very modern third-person-shooter feel, yet the fantasy trappings lend it this incredibly refreshing air.
Caddoc lends more of a hack n' slash feel to the game, and it's worth noting that if you're playing co-op, you don't have to stick with one character. Various stones found within the game allow players to swap characters, so you can enjoy the game as a shooter or a hack n' slasher as you like. At the moment, the close combat is a little loose and unrefined, but hopefully they'll tighten it up. The shooting is as good as perfect.
Graphically, Hunted is very pretty looking, and the gameplay, at least for ranged combat, feels highly polished already. The only minor gripe so far is that steering characters left and right, especially when running, is a bit stiff. Otherwise, this is looking like it could be a surprise hit in 2011 and is a game I am definitely excited about.
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